Blogger Jonathan Dolce

Summer Reading 2017: On Beyond Lego!

Let’s get ready to build stuff! The 2017 Summer Reading theme is “Build a Better World” and I wanted to touch on two key options: Building sets Recycle, reuse and re-purpose Building Sets: looking beyond the ordinary Giant Crystal Connectors by Constructa Retro! 4″ interlocking discs with eight slots Translucent, and brightly-colored   Cardboard construction tools – Makedo!       playful cardboard construction 30 reusable parts build creations from junk! You supply the stuff – cardboard, foam, whatever – and Makedo makes it possible to construct anything you can dream up.  Re-usable and SAFE! From the trenches: Denver Public Library loads up their programming room with recyclables for attendees to build stuff.  Imagine combining that with Makedo kits! SmartMax by SmartMax Explore magnetism! Strong, large pieces Safe for kids as young as one High-quality, sonically-welded bars Learn about magnetic attraction and repulsion while constructing towers, bridges and other creations. The magnets are…

Blogger Alexa Newman

Not Just Tinkering Around

Tinker  verb | tin*ker   : to work in the manner of a tinker; especially :  to repair, adjust, or work with something in an unskilled or experimental manner I had the opportunity to sit down last week with Alison Tseng, the Youth Services Technology Librarian at the Algonquin Area Public Library District to talk about Tinker. (Full disclosure:   Alison is my coworker and sits at the desk right across from me, so it was an easy-peasy trip.)

ALA Midwinter 2017

Sunday STEAM Learning #alamw17 

I attended two different STEAM related sessions today and learned a ton!  First I went to the Ignite Sessions. 6 different speakers each spoke for 5 minutes a piece with timed slides to keep them on schedule. I am so amazed people can make such strong points in 5 minutes, incredible!  Angiah Davis, a librarian with the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System, spoke on “Engaging Youth With Steam”. My biggest takeaway from this talk was simple, but powerful. When working on STEAM programming Angiah advised reaching out to community partners. She has partnered with Home Depot to offer a kids building event, a harpist to offer harp lessons (every kid got a harp and learned a song) and had an African dance group teach dance. She recommended both Bill Nye and Science Bob’s websites for a plethora of other ideas too.  Author/Illustrator Brian Yanish also spoke during the Ignite Sessions about…

ALA Midwinter 2017

#alamw17 The Creative Edge

My first afternoon session today was run by two people from Avon Public Library in Connecticut, “The Creative Edge: How One Small Library Is Leading the Way in Creative Arts Programming.” Mary Fletcher’s official title is Creativity Specialist.  She has been in charge of a program where they have brought the arts into the library. Arts are not crafts.  Art is an open-ended process.  Art has no planned product.  Art is open-ended.  Art has no adult sample to copy.  Art can be spontaneous. A pre-planned craft can discourage creative choices. The presenters showed us many pictures from their Open Art Studio.  I liked the image of a wall covered with buildings made of paper.  No two buildings are exactly alike.  Together, they form a wonderfully diverse town. I was writing furiously.  I’ll include some good nuggets below: Art is guided by the child’s choices. When children are fascinated, they make…

Guest Blogger

STEAM-ing on Saturdays

Recently, I’ve been trying to work new programming into my repertoire here at my branch. Afterschool programming isn’t always an option, so I looked to Saturdays. I work every other Saturday at my branch, and find for some reason, kids seem to be more inclined to participate in a program on Saturdays. Usually during the week, I have to encourage kids away from the computers with snacks – on Saturdays, the same kids are the first through the door. I think it has something to do with the fact that they don’t have the stress of school that day, but I’m not sure.

Blogger Children and Technology Committee

2016 Trends: Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality

Each year, technology continues to change and evolve. In 2016, with only a few weeks left in the year, it is a good time to look back on two technology trends that impacted library services. This is especially timely since many of us will soon have to submit our annual reports to our library boards and with that, a look at the trends of the year.